Blueberries Useful for Preventing Brain Aging
Optimal Wellness Center / Mercola.com
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Novenber 26, 2003
Eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods may play a major role in your cognitive function, according to research. While it's known that antioxidants may protect against certain cancers, heart disease and other age-related disease, they may also help to keep cognitive skills strong as we age and may even help protect astronauts brains from cosmic radiation. Oxidative damage is thought to be one of the primary factors in brain aging, and the research suggests that diets rich in natural antioxidants may help to slow this damage.
In one study, blueberries, which are very high in antioxidants, appeared to be beneficial for brain aging, Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders. Scientists believe that blueberries contain chemicals that have not yet been identified that can protect the brain and even lessen the consequences of brain damage.
In another study, researchers found that an antioxidant-rich diet may prevent some of the cognitive changes that occur with exposure to cosmic rays. The brain damage that could be caused by cosmic rays is one of the major obstacles that must be overcome before astronauts will be able to travel to Mars, as a three-year space flight is required.
EurekAlert November 8, 2003
Dr. Mercola's Comment: This is no surprise as long-time readers will know that I posted the brain benefits of blueberries over four years ago.
Whole blueberries are associated with numerous health benefits even beyond the potential benefits to the brain mentioned above. And, since they are low in sugar they won't stimulate severe insulin swings if eaten in moderation.
The European blueberry, bilberry, is also known to prevent and even reverse the most common cause of blindness, macular degeneration.
We now carry delicious organic blueberries in our store. These berries, from eastern Canada, are smaller and sweeter than your typical store-bought blueberries and make a great complement to many meals.
But, just remember, don't fall into Goldilock's trap, or the classic American strategy when it comes to nutrition: if a little is good, then more is even better.
If you eat too many blueberries, you will release too much sugar in your system that will cause insulin levels to rise and, eventually, a worsening rather than an improvement in your health.
So, enjoy all that blueberries have to offer, but don't overdo it!
Of course, fresh, raw vegetables are also a great source of antioxidants so don't forget to include vegetables that are right for your metabolic type in your diet.
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